Die Cast Diaries - Chapter 14
Hello family, friends and followers,
Welcome to chapter 14 of my Die Cast Diaries!
It has been over a month since the last chapter dropped, but I have been supe busy with getting SRQ Diecast Custom Apparel a makeover and more content and products. The website has a whole new look and feel and I am so happy with the way it looks and functions. Please be sure to check out http://www.srqdiecastca.com and enjoy the new look. Onto the important topic.....Chapter 14.
In this chapter, I will be introducing you to a customizer that I don't know or have any personal connections with. He is a long time collector and customizer and he appreciates my affinity for the hobby. He reached out to me for a chapter after reading and viewing a few on the website. It was a pleasant surprise to hear from him and I was so excited to receive a follow from him on Instagram. I am looking forward to learning more about him and his story along with you, my audience. After viewing his Instagram page, I got a good look at his customizing skills and let me say that he deserves plenty of praise and admiration for his customs. They are clean, good quality craftmanship and creative. He has a great eye for paint, details and creates beautiful builds that any collector would be proud to own. I have not had the privilege of buying any of his customs to add to my collection, but I hope that I get the chance in the near future. With that, I would like to introduce you to this chapters star, Thomas Ward of Calibre50Customs.
Me: What is your name and where are you from?
Thomas: My name is Thomas Ward. I live in Popular Bluff, MO.
Me: How old were you when you started playing with Hot Wheels?
Thomas: I was about 5 when I started playing with Hot Wheels.
Me: How old were you when you started collecting Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Thomas: I started collecting them around the same age.
Me: When did you start customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Thomas: I started customizing in early 2018 on and off.
Me: What got you interested in customizing diecast cars and trucks?
Thomas: I have always been interested in cars, wanted to get into all kinds of art classes so I could try paint and body work. So, I thought if I could customize Hot Wheels maybe it would lead to doing it on a larger scale.
Me: Who was your inspiration or influence that got you into customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Thomas: My dad is a great influence. He would do the basic model kits and he was really good at it, and when I was really young I wanted to do everything that he did.
Me: Do you have a background in working on cars and trucks which helps make customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks easier and helps with your creativity on them?
Thomas: I have some mechanical skills on cars. I have went to many car shows when I was a kid and watched a lot of builders on tv. I'm a pretty good artist. I get an idea from them just popping in my head. I can get pretty creative sometimes.
Me: What is your specialty in customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks?
Thomas: I have been working consistently on Hot Wheels for a little over a year and a half. I do a little bit of everything, from hot rods, one off customs, junkyard builds(where I take prieces from many castings and make one). I really like to try and challenge myself with each buld so I think my spcialty is doing one off customs.
Me: What makes your customs stand out from most of the other customs out there?
Thomas: Honestly I don't know what makes my customs stand out. I just try to do something different with each build.
Me: Is customizing Hot Wheels and other diecast cars and trucks a hobby or a full time job for you? If it's a full time job for you, what is the name of your business? If it's a hobby, what are your social media outlets where people can view and possibly buy your customs?
Thomas: Customizing diecast cars is a full time hobby. I am an Army combat veteran and suffer from PTSD and some others. This hobby has helped me mentally, it keeps me focused and I get to be creative. I had to find something for me to focus on instead of what was going on with me mentally. Calibre 50 Customs is Instagram and my YouTube pages. I even have a Facebook page, but I don't use it that often..
Me: How much success have you had selling your customs?
Thomas: I really don't care about selling my customs, even though I have had a few people tell me I should, but each month I do a giveaway build for someone just because I like to do it. I don't sell my customs to fund my projects. I make enough money to not have to worry about it.
Me: Which casting is your favorite to customize?
Thomas: I love to customize square body trucks. I have made quite a few things out of them.
Me: Finally, what are your top 5 Hot Wheels of all time?
Thomas: My top 5 is definitely '68 - '70s Chargers, '67 - '69 Camaro, Humvees, motorcycles, and any square body truck.
Me: Thank you for participating in my blog and helping spread the world of customizing Hot Wheels and other die cast cars and trucks to the general public. I appreciate you, your time and your customs. Also, I want to give you a big thank you for your service. I appreciate your sacrifices to protect our nation and our freedom.
In closing, I just want to say that what you're about to see is going to prove that customizing die cast cars and trucks is an art and it takes talent, skill, imagination, passion and creativity to make these little cars and trucks look so cool. These customs are incredible works of classic hot rod culture in 1:64 scale and would be awesome additions towards the ultimate collection. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pics of Thomas Ward's builds.